Belfast Telegraph

Nice to see no fuss made of Obama’s Prod roots

By Gail Walker

One of the more subtle signs of maturity in the Republic on show during the State visits of the Queen and the US President was the easy recognition of Obama’s forebear as genuinely “Irish”.

Time was when a Protestant such as he would have struggled in the orthodoxy of nationalism to have found his place acknowledged.

The myth is that Protestants in Ireland were either gun-toting hoodlums in the RIC and British Army or hard-riding country gentlemen patrolling their landed estates with man-traps in one hand and a soup spoon in the other, ready to forcefeed any hapless native Irish Catholic with gruel, thereby making him an Anglican.

It was nice then that, amid all the admittedly over-excited activity in the Moneygall broadcast live across the nation, the matter of religion never arose.

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